Outsourcing for Writing Productivity – The How?
Even if you have a clear idea of what you would like to outsource in your writing project, a barrier is often figuring out how to outsource. Below I address typical questions that I get when I pose outsourcing as an idea with my writing coaching clients.
How do I find someone to do this? In today’s gig-economy it is surprisingly easier than you may expect. You can find impressively qualified folks on online freelance sites. These sites provide you with much greater options than trying to hire locally. Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer are three of the biggest platforms for hiring freelancers internationally, and there are dozens of other sites to consider.
How much will this cost? In addition to the number of freelancers seeking work, there is also likely a bigger range of price than you may imagine. I would recommend going to a site and getting a sense of the price range by browsing through freelancers’ descriptions, which typically include an hourly rate. For example, if you go to Upwork and look at editors for academic writing, you can find a range between $5 – $200 an hour, although most hover between $20 and $50 an hour. Not surprisingly, experience, qualifications, number of past clients, and past clients’ ratings are associated with cost. Then based on the hourly rate, you can get a sense of what your job may cost.
Additionally, on most sites, you post your own job ad, and can set a fixed price so you are not subject to the variance of hourly work. Only freelancers interested in the work will apply. Applicants may offer a different price than what you set (some offers will likely be under your offer and others will be over). You generally pay after the work is completed, but you put a set amount in “escrow” on the site. Additionally, you can set filters before the job is posted, such as if you only want to hire someone within your time zone.
How do I prepare a job ad? Most sites will have examples and recommendations to get you started. I will share one that I recently used for a paper that was being revised and resubmitted I made sure to include the a) length of the manuscript, b) depth of editing needed c) general topic of the paper/genre of the writing and d) the time frame needed.
I chose $45.00 because the paper had limited work left and I assumed an experienced editor could complete in within a couple hours. I only included one screening question because the task was straightforward and that was my main concern. In this case, within an hour of posting my ad, I had over 50 applicants and the majority accepted the price that I had proposed. There were many highly qualified people, and the person that I hired proved to be fantastic. I ended up giving her a bonus after receiving her work, rehired her for a second manuscript, and recommended her to friends! In total, it allows me to get this paper back to the editor at a far more efficient time frame and professionally prepared.